What fostered the environment that allowed sci fi creators to make so many lovable and memorable spaceship crews in the 90s and 2000s?

CmdrShepN7

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"Babylon 5", "Star Trek", "Farscape", "Firefly", "Battlestar Galactica", "Mass Effect", etc.

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Why do so many of pop culture's most lovable and memorable spaceship crews come from shows from the 90s and 2000s?

Did Apollo 11 and the Space Shuttle program not only inspire a generation of scientists and engineers but a generation of sci fi creators?
 

Foxbat

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Most of them are fairly standard character combinations and bear a strong resemblance to fantasy (among other) ensembles. For example, we have the leader, the thinker, the engineer. That could be Kirk, Spock and Scotty, or, in a fantasy environment that could be warrior king, scholar/mage or dwarf (miner/engineer).

But it goes further. You could apply the same rules to Sharp and his soldiers, Again, we have a leader (Sharp obviously), a sergeant (admittedly not an engineer but carrying a highly engineered multibarrelled weapon). We even have a bard in this group that sings Over The Hills and Far Away at the end of each episode.

You can also see the same types of character ensemble in something like Marvel’s Agents Of Shield.

These combinations work and writers know that.
 

Dave

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Is your question really asking about the use of larger ensemble casts? I watched something last night, which from its title, should be about two people, but really it revolves around a much larger cast. Thinking about it more, most TV drama shows today are all about teams working together, whereas in the '60's or '70's they would have been much more unusual, and more likely to be a duo, or a focus on one single central character. Is that not simply a question of budgets being larger today? The use of multiple characters allows story-tellers to show us various different aspects of more intricate plotlines, which leads to better stories. TV today is of a much higher quality, as high as cinematic films, and this is just another reflection of that.
 

mistri

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Ah, I miss Farscape.

The ensemble shows were great for TV with lots of episodes every year, as you could tell so many stories with different people (lightening the filming load on each one). Arguably a more aspirational/positive time as well. And/or Star Trek had been a massive hit and all the shows above were in its wake.

Now that the focus is turning towards shorter shows on Netflix and co and there is less call for large ensemble expensive SF shows, and more for edgy twister water-cooler moment TV.

Not to say these shows won't be made again (witness Discovery), but they're probably slightly out of fashion.
 

BAYLOR

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Of those shows , I loved Babylon 5 best of all. That show set the bar very high not only for science fiction but for all genres of television as well .
 

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